Here’s a conspiracy theory for you: Tie Rack are a decentralised, corporate-funded, international network of smugglers and drug runners. It stands to reason:
- Do you really think there’s a market for a shop that sells only ties? Okay, I know that they also sell umbrellas and scarves: but really… most of their shops are at transportation hubs like airports and train stations – I wonder how many people ever say, “Well, I’m off to [important event] and I can’t find a suitable tie… but it’s okay, because I can get one on the way! Thank heavens for Tie Rack™!” I don’t buy it: they’ve got to be a front to something bigger.
- And it stands to reason that they’re in the perfect place to be into smuggling: drugs, illegal documents, whatever… they have a store (which is open 24-hours a day) at every major international airport in the Western hemisphere. But where is the shop? It’s on the other side of customs and excise and passport control – by the time you get to Tie Rack, they’ve already taken your bottle of water and your nail clippers off you… plus: when have you ever seen security do a random stop-and-search on a man wearing a tie.
- Do you really think that the lorry loads of ties that get transported into airports every day are searched for drugs and weapons? Of course not: they’re not getting on a ‘plane – or are they? Tie Rack’s expert network of traffickers turn up at the airport (and can be searched all that security wish: they’re clean) and then, while in the departure lounge waiting for their flight to be cancelled they decide to buy a tie (or perhaps an umbrella or a handbag). And that’s where they pick up what they’re transporting…
- …few airports bother to do a drugs scan when you get off the ‘plane: why bother – the airport at the other end did it already, and most of the security guards, especially these days, are preoccupied with ensuring that no suspicious-looking Muslims get anywhere near an aircraft without a full body cavity search. The mules have already arrived with their package. For the price of an EasyJet flight across Europe you can bring cannabis and ecstasy from Holland or opiates from Turkey and nobody knows any better.
- How’d they get started? Well, they’re the new arm of the Italian mafia! Even their web site proudly states that they’re “genuinely Italian”. Wikipedia reports that the company acts as a major retailer for the Frangi retail group… guess where Frangi are from: Sicily.
If I go missing in the near future, it’s because I’ve revealed Tie Rack’s dirty secret. You know what to do.